How many of you perked up when I mentioned how commenting affects SEO?
Suddenly writing comments has become interesting. It seems that social engagement has taken on a whole new dimension, something that is relevant to you and your ideals.
Of course it is! It's not just a method of writing 'Nice post' and then feeling good about responding. There's much more than meets the eye with this commenting lark.
This infographic explores eight ways to use commenting to attract search engines to your blog:
And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
Most bloggers are busy writing suitably optimised content to attract the search engines. However, did you know spiders see comments as part of the post? To them there is no difference between the content and comments.
Commenting affects SEO when comments contain valuable material which enhances the original post. A good comment should be at least 100 words, and be substantial enough not only to get noticed by readers, but also the search engines.
Both quality and relevance play a part here. The commenter piggybacks on the host blog's ranking, and the blogger benefits from the extra information shared by the commenter.
Extends keyword usage
If the commenter is canny, he will have worked out the principle keyword of the post, and used it within his comment. This is to stimulate the spiders looking to match search requests with this keyword.
Spiders also look for relevancy from latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords, which are words related to the post’s subject. It is easier to use a topic match rather than an exact keyword match. Good, worthy comments with lots of LSI keywords are perfect for indexing.
This is why it's important to focus on writing a relevant comment. Pertinent relevance in commenting affects SEO much more than you think.
The use of links within a comment should be avoided. They are useless for SEO because WordPress automatically makes them no-follow, so the spiders can't use them. And this sort of activity also tends to mark you out as a spammer.
However, there are still ways to create acceptable backlinks to your blog. Whenever you submit your comment, the URL you supply generates a backlink. This may be no-follow, but spiders still rank it for relevance and they can be used for readers to click on too.
Producing a relevant comment that is related to your blog's topic means readers are more likely to be interested in you. Giving them a call to action to find out more by clicking on your name could direct them to a relevant post on your blog.
Because of the nuisance of spam, link building via commenting has been hindered somewhat. But relevance of links behind the keywords used in the comment can give a necessary boost to your blog's rankings.
Regularly commenting on relevant blogs in your industry, with worthy and constructive comments, does attract the attention of the search engines. The spiders note the keyword relevance, the destination relevance of the backlink, and connects these together to raise the comment's SEO standing.
Studies have shown that consistent relevant commenting on corresponding industry blogs does have an affect on the commenter's blog's Domain Authority. Even in as little as two weeks there is a marked improvement in the DA score.
Quality comments will attract attention, hopefully for the right reasons. Comments affect SEO by constructively adding value to a post, which is noticed by both the blogger and the other readers.
Once you have established yourself as a bona fide commenter who knows their stuff, your credibility and expertise will entice others to find out more about you. When they clink on the backlink behind your name, they will be able to visit your blog to read more.
Also well-written comments should encourage interaction. High quality UGC (user generated content) which stimulate conversations encourages readers to stay longer on your blog. This in turn reduces the bounce rate in your analytics.
Using a conversational style is another way to attract readers to your comments. Commenting could be seen as a method for social engagement, communicating with others to encourage them to reply.
This kind of commenting needn't be restricted to blogs. In fact it may be easier to do this on social media. Here there are no restrictions from moderation, and conversations can happen in real-time.
These leads onto friendships within the commenting world. Which results in worthier and meaningful comments. These are more exciting to read, and are more likely to encourage others to participate in the conversation.
A blog with a lot of comments is instantly seen as popular. This is attractive not only to readers, who prefer to join in an active commenting scene, but also to the search engines.
Commenting affects SEO when it generates popularity. Spiders view a lot of interaction as the result of excellent content which is worth indexing. They deduce if readers are willing to comment here, this content must contain information others may be searching for.
Write comments that encourage discussion. Introduce topics people can relate to, and are willing to share their experiences. Some readers may even share the post to friends and followers so they can also join in the conversation.
Better brand recognition
Commenting can raise the reputation of you and what you write about, and ultimately your blog. Once readers recognise your blog as a go-to-resource, they will be referring to it regularly for the content they crave.
If they cannot remember your blog's URL, they will type in your blog's name into the search engines. This results in repeated requests which marks the blog as an excellent source of information.
You'll know consistent posting on your blog and regular commenting affects SEO when you realise it's not only your readers who recognise your expertise and knowledge.
Have you found commenting affects SEO?
How much commenting do you do? Is it on relevant blogs in your industry? Do you continue conversations and encourage discussions?
Are you freely offering your knowledge and expertise in your comments? Are you able to relate to the post so you can share an experience you've had? Is there an element of the post you can acknowledge to show your appreciation?
Consistent commenting affects SEO as much as regular posting on your blog. Just remember you're writing for your readers, not the search engines, and the results will be much more readable. Which in turn will have a better and more desirable effect.
What experiences have you had with commenting? Let us know in the comments below; we would love to read what you have to say.